Some of you asked about the young man pictured in our last post and above – that’s John Ferri.
In addition to being a baritone with the Oakton Madrigals, John is headed to the highly competitive Visual & Performing Arts segment of the Virginia Department of Education Governor’s School at Radford University camp this summer, for the the Vocal Performance Track.
John was also one of the more interesting Masterclass attendees last summer, for two reasons:
1) All the Masterclass attendees had interesting pieces to work on or sing. But John was working on a very specific piece – early modern, in Italian, with lots of notes in the music. And receptive to instruction in everything the workshop had to offer: technique, musicianship, how to be on stage, how to communicate with the audience, all of it.
2) More importantly, John was receptive enough to let Jennifer Rodgers Beach do all of the above with exercises that were by turns engaging, revealing, and flat-out funny. Because there’s nothing more amusing than watching a high-school senior work through an early-modern Italian love song while “wooing” the women in the audience – one of whom includes your mother. Who first wonders how this is going to turn out, and then tries to keep a straight face while another singer plays right along. (Thank you, Marjina Kaplan for being such a great sport!)
Here is what John had to say about the Masterclass:
I thought that the general class was a very good overview of basic, universal tips that can be great tools for any performer. But the masterclass is specialized. The masterclass is great because it allows you to bring a piece that you have been working on, and get advice from an excellent professional teacher and performer on exactly how that song can be made better. It also gives you a chance to have advice that is tailored to you as an individual, pointing out particular areas of performance to focus on, and what can be done to improve shortcomings. I got nervous for the masterclass performance, but the audience was friendly and supportive. I think it was a very good experience, and I have signed up to do the masterclass again this year in August.
Our Masterclass spots for the June workshop are sold out for June. But we still have Masterclass spots available for July and August’s workshops. And plenty of general admission for all three. Tickets are online now.
Stay tuned for details on how exactly the day will play out – that post is coming up next!